Denver's Essential Concert Calendar

05/14/2010 03:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Problem of Leisure: Denver's Essential Concert Calendar for May 14 - 19, 2010

Come on, come all! This week's concerts are better than a three ring circus! Don't miss the Tallest Man on Earth sharing a bill with Nathaniel Rateliff, Plants and Animals juggling classic rock influences, and Owen Pallett's graceful performance on the musical high wire.

May 14: Owen Pallett


Who would be crazy enough to leave the Arcade Fire after contributing to their career making album The Funeral? Owen Pallett, that's who. And guess what? His foolhardy plan worked. Pallett, a fey violinist whose adventurous chamber pop's bite is much worse than its bark, has had a successful career sans Fire, culminating in the genius of his latest release, Heartland. It stands to reason that he'll be playing a bunch of cuts from Heartland during Friday's show at the Larimer Lounge. But Pallett, who recently "volunteered" to stop calling his project Final Fantasy only after threats of trademark infringement by makers of the world famous video game of the same name called upon him to cease and desist, has never been one to be besieged by reason. You will all just have to go to the show and hear for yourselves.

Larimer Lounge 2721 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80205

May 18: Plants and Animals


Warren Spicer, Matthew 'the Woodman' Woodley, and Nicolas Basque make up Plants and Animals. The trio, who now calls Montreal home, sounds as diverse as the many phyla and genera from which it takes its name, and is as difficult to pin down as well. One thing is certain, these musicians are not afraid to cross-pollinate. All three band members sing. And at any given moment one of their songs is as likely to borrow from King Crimson as it is from Crazy Horse. Plus these guys totally know how to use a vocoder without overdoing it. Everyone has at least one friend whose musical taste is stuck in 1972. Bring 'em along! Because a Plants and Animals show is the perfect way to get even the most calcified Classic Rock aesthetic moved into next millennium.

Larimer Lounge 2721 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80205

May 19: Nathaniel Rateliff / the Tallest Man on Earth


We at Donnybrook said we'd be sharing Nathaniel Rateliff with the rest of the world and we were right. Paste Magazine recently named him Artist of the Day. Rateliff and his phenomenal band will perform at the Bluebird Theater Wednesday night to promote his newest release, In Memory of Loss. Joining Rateliff on the bill is Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson, who performs under the moniker the Tallest Man on Earth. Matsson nuanced Dylanesque songwriting belies his Scandinavian roots. His songs construct gritty melodies from time worn tropes that make intuitive sense. Both Rateliff and Matsson play with a quiet fury that guarantees Wednesday night's show will be a memorable one.

The Bluebird Theater 3317 E. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80218

For more cultural musings and societal hobnobbery, visit